View Of London From Woolwich, 1825
Artist: Scharf, George senior
Medium: Pencil on paper
This drawing depicts the view of London seen from the top of the Edinburgh Castle public house in Woolwich. St Pauls Cathedral can be seen on the horizon at the centre of the picture.
There is evidence that a community has existed at Woolwich since the Iron Age. In 1512 Henry VIII chose Woolwich as the centre of shipbuilding for the newly formed Royal Navy. The area that was later to become the Royal Arsenal was first used as a storage facility for ammunition. The extensive, marshy ground was found to be ideal for military exercises, as it helped deaden the sound of explosions. The Military Academy appeared in 1741 and was in much use over the next 200 years, particularly during the Crimean and First World Wars. Although the dockyard at Woolwich was very important for the capital, it eventually closed in 1869.